Teaching to Inspire

Good teachers are the reason ordinary students want to do extraordinary things

I recently gave out an assignment to my second-year university students (to whom I lecture Broadcast Journalism-television in second semester) and I was amazed at the quality of the output and feedback I received. I basically gave them a list of stories/story ideas and instructed them to go out conduct interviews, collect footage, compile voicers package the stories.

Bearing in mind how under-resourced our department/school is, I expected the task to be too much for them to bear. To my surprise, they came back today and submitted their disc copies of the task and I went to my office and began reviewing their work.

This is what I found:

  1. The work and efforts they put into the task bearing in mind that none of them have actually worked on a story or even be at a television newsroom was phenomenal.
  2. The quality of their editing, the soundbytes and basic dramatic/conversational writing techniques-all these, were quiet amazing

Although this was a first attempt at practically “reporting” on a story, I know that with a little practice, my students will go far. I have also learnt just how they value each and every contact session I have with them each week because I saw in their productions just how they tried to apply all that I have taught them, plus what they individually learnt by watching different news programs in South Africa and abroad.

This gives me confidence in the work that we do and I am proud to say that this crop of prospective journalism practitioners will be able to stand on par with their peers from other institutions and showcase their skills, regardless of their background.

To those academics/teachers who are harnessing and inspiring future industry leaders, I say: “bon travail”.

Best

Tshepang Bright Molale (Lecturer: Communication Studies, North West University, South Africa, 21474923@g.nwu.ac.za)

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